Hi, Welcome!

The community is a safe space for people living with and connected to arthritis to ask questions and share experiences. Get started by registering here and posting your first comment or question!

Sign In with a Versus Arthritis account

However your life is impacted by arthritis we want to understand more about you so that we can make sure we continue to develop our information, support and services such as the online community.


If you've not already, please take 5 -10 minutes to fill in our survey. All information you provide will remain anonymous and be treated in the strictest confidence. TAKE OUR SURVEY

Telling your employer about your Arthritis.

Interested in hearing your experiences about letting your employer know about your condition, and your thoughts on my situation if you have any.

I have Psoriatic Arthritis which has not responded yet to any treatment in New Zealand on my current Visa so I'm moving back to the UK to see if I have any better luck on the NHS. I've got a job offer starting in April. Its a desk job like my current one with a national charity who would be I hope pretty responsible employers (I've worked for some chancers in my time 🤑).

For the first time I will tell my employer that I have this condition as I'm over having to pretend to be able to carry things, not be fatigued, or make excuses at work social events etc. I put it on my equal opportunities disclosure form on the application - but who sees those forms and what do they achieve? I don't need a fancy desk yet, and I bring my own mouse and keyboard with me like a travelling IT salesman already so I'm all good in the main. Just need time for appointments etc.

When did you tell your employer? Did you wish you did this earlier, or even before your started? Should I tell them now - and if so do I tell HR or my manager do you reckon?

All the best folks - thanks for reading this far!😎

Comments

  • Sharon_KSharon_K Posts: 163 admin

    Hi thembrown

    I am sure some of our members will share their experience of telling their employer about having arthritis. I thought you might find this section of the website useful to read as well.

    let us know if you have any further questions

    Best Wishes

    Sharon

  • My diagnosis happened while i was working for my current employer. I was in a good position because i have a great manager. I kept him updated whenever i found out a little more or any of my symptoms changed or intensified.

    I got a change in role (warehouse work) so i could work in the office on admin now. I also managed to get a change in hours so i can start early in the morning and finish early. (i struggle with commuting and want to avoid rush hour).

    HR & OH are fully aware as well as my area manager, I've found its easier to just be honest and open about it. It's never easy explaining it, but its better they know and can support you.

    Good luck in the future, if you need any more info give me a shout.

  • I informed my employer but received no support, I have been currently off sick and supposed to be going back after lock down, but again my employer is saying certain jobs I need to do but allowing other staff to get support, feel I am being discriminated against

  • I was off work three months in March 2016 when I first developed Rheumatoid Arthritis but from my first consultant's appointment to now my employers have been very good and they allow me time off so I can have blood tests, etc. I always found it best to be very honest and tell them how things are. I have been shielding since March at that time my Firm put me on furlough leave and when I had my recent telephone call with my office manager I was informed that this has been extended to the end of July as I am "high risk" due to my condition.

  • Hi kazza. I asked the same question about extending the 12 week Sheilding. Also I wonder if we will receive a letter from the NHS to confirm this. Thanks Yellowstone
  • I informed my employer over a year ago about my osteoarthritis in both of my feet and because I am doing a physical manual job I had alot of time off sick because of the arthritis in my feet and my employer sent meet to occupational health 4 times and also had a case meeting with ohr, occupational health and management,I was put on re-deployment and got no help or support, and my employer didn't accommodate me in my role regarding the information provided by occupational health so I then decide on application for early retirement on I'll health grounds, and I have been awarded lower tier of I'll health retirement and I finish work in July and then I will be living of my I'll health pension, but it just shows to me that employers are selfish and don't always accommodation you in employment if you suffer from arthritis, I am now happy to be retiring so I can put my feet up and rest them and preserve them for the future.
  • I informed my employer when I started a new job and they referred me to occupational health (I work for a county council). Other than recommending things that were impossible they did allow me to have a very rare and coveted parking space which has been amazing. They also made it clear they supported me going to all appointments, physio etc which was great. Employers have a legal duty of care and I would be open and honest right off the bat rather than trying to explain after the event when something goes wrong.

  • Hi Everyone,

    Hope you are all having a great day!

    This is my first post on the website so forgive me if I say the wrong things!

    I have only recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and when I tried to tell my employer I have been advised to work from home and I have to get regular blood tests done he was so rude to me he had me in tears. He accused me of making the whole thing up, said it was convenient I had a new illness when furlough had just ended and that I have never shown symptoms despite living with pains and decreased mobility for periods of time for up to 3 years. He questioned whether I should take the medication and queried my dedication to the business. Accused me of jumping on a bandwagon with arthritis and of being a drama queen because he knows "hundreds" of people with arthritis who don't have any issues. He also said because I am only 33 the consultant must have got it wrong as only older people get it.

    I am trying so hard to get a new job but there is nothing out there. I have never felt so ashamed and embarrassed in my whole life about something that I cannot control. Even my colleagues have accused me of scamming some time off when all I am doing is working at my kitchen table rather than in the office. I have actually even been working harder which upsets me more because I pride myself on my work ethic. I was always a sort of "teachers pet" and this has sort of ruined my confidence at work and really stressed me out.

  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 492 ✭✭✭

    If you check out the "Work and Financial" part of the forum you will find a lot of advice about getting things sorted at work. Plus there is the Disability Law Service, go to https://dls.org.uk/our-services/employment/ they can help with employers having to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff.

  • Hi @Cazmataz

    Thank you for posting about your recent, horrible experience with your employer.

    You have recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and have received no support from your employer. These misconceptions are exactly what we are trying at Versus Arthritis to correct.

    We have lots of info on our website about work, rights etc:

    We also have info on RA which you may find helpful in learning more about your condition, and it might even be an idea to show this to your employer to try to educate him on a condition that he has no understanding of:

    Please come back and let us know if this was useful or how you got on with speaking to your employer. Remember our helpline is also on hand - freephone 0800 5200 520 open Monday-Fri 9am-8pm (exc bank holidays).

    Best Wishes

    Debbie

  • Hi Everyone,

    Hope you are all having a great day!

    This is my first post on the website so forgive me if I say the wrong things!

    I have only recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and when I tried to tell my employer I have been advised to work from home and I have to get regular blood tests done he was so rude to me he had me in tears. He accused me of making the whole thing up, said it was convenient I had a new illness when furlough had just ended and that I have never shown symptoms despite living with pains and decreased mobility for periods of time for up to 3 years. He questioned whether I should take the medication and queried my dedication to the business. Accused me of jumping on a bandwagon with arthritis and of being a drama queen because he knows "hundreds" of people with arthritis who don't have any issues. He also said because I am only 33 the consultant must have got it wrong as only older people get it.

    I am trying so hard to get a new job but there is nothing out there. I have never felt so ashamed and embarrassed in my whole life about something that I cannot control. Even my colleagues have accused me of scamming some time off when all I am doing is working at my kitchen table rather than in the office. I have actually even been working harder which upsets me more because I pride myself on my work ethic. I was always a sort of "teachers pet" and this has sort of ruined my confidence at work and really stressed me out.

  • MartMart Posts: 1
    I work for the NHS as a stores person in the theatres I've been there for 11 years now I've had osteoarthritis now for the past five years in my thumbs now over the last six weeks I have it in my neck reading some of the posts on here I think it depends on your line manager and employer having been to hr to try and get help with my role I was giving tests to do lifting etc to see if was capable of doing my job the outcome was yes I was OK to lift 20kg plus day in day out with now support whatsoever from them so I got an independent assessor in to help me along with my union rep eventually things have got easier at work with most of the heavy lifting jobs taken off me, so even though I work for the NHS people don't get support with arthritis as some people may think for those out there who struggle from day to day keep fighting for your rights don't be ignored!!
  • EllenEllen Posts: 158 mod

    Apologies for the hijack thembrown.

    I just wanted to welcome @Mart to our online Community.

    Pain in the neck is really tough to cope with you have my sympathy. I'm sure you probably already know most of this but here is some information about neck pain:

    I am very sorry to read your struggle to get support from your employer. Well done though for keeping at it because working is so good for us if we can possibly keep going. I hope you will be able to keep your job a good while longer now.

    Thank you for sharing your story

    Ellen

  • Hi All,

    New to the forum and currently surviving RA for the last 10 years. A real pleasure to meet you all, hope you're all doing well given current affairs.

    I am one of those fortunate enough to have one of those extremely rare supportive employers. They have been nothing short of amazing for the entire time I've been there.

    I told my current employer, who I've been with for 6 years now, at the time I went along to the interview for the position. After getting the job, the Director of HR said she spent a couple of weeks learning about my condition and has done everything she could to support me. They've won awards for their industry-leading supportive attitude and proactive approach to dealing with disability, mental health and wellbeing. I have regular meetings to discuss how I'm getting on and they're constantly asking if they can be doing anything different to better support me. My line of work is such that they've given me freedom to choose when I want to work, as long as I do my 38 hours in the week, they don't care when I do them - which has been so refreshing and has meant I can work around the chronic fatigue that dogs me every step. I honestly count my blessings every day that I found such a warm, welcoming and understanding place. I never ever thought I would get to a point when I would actually look forward to going to work but I do.

    My previous employer wasn't such a delight to be at but, I have always felt it best to be upfront and honest about what this illness was doing for me. At the end of the day, neither they nor I have any control over what my illness is about, I'm as much along for the ride as they were. Unfortunately, they kept seeing me as being uncooperative, despite the fact I did everything that was expected of me and more. Even when they could see how swollen my hands were at times, they still claimed I was putting it on, and claimed the letter my RC wrote to outline a few facts for them was fake.

    It did teach me to not be so accepting of my situation and to change the things that I can control. To be more selective and heavily research employers and ask leading questions during interviews to reveal insights they're hiding. The best decision I ever made was to leave that place and, with my current employer being what they are, I've never looked back and certainly don't miss the old place.

    The only down side about my current employer was that I ended up having to move from one end of the country to the other, leaving a lot of my friends and family behind. It was a hard decision but, given where I am today, I think it was the right one - at least that's what I keep telling myself :)

    Steve

  • Aj_xAj_x Posts: 66 mod

    Hi Stabbedbadger,

    Welcome to the Online Community Forum.

    It sounds like you have very understandable employers. Hope you continue to join in with other discussions and topics on the forums.

    Take Care and Stay Safe

    AJ_x

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.